Chalk-Up

At Middlebury College, and especially at Go/Refuge, we take diversity and multiculturalism very seriously. Though our main focus right now is on Syrian refugees, we know that refugees can come from all over the world and speak all languages. So, at the beginning of the new fall semester, we decided to welcome the new freshman, who also come from all over the world, by writing welcoming messages in as many languages as we could. On the walkway from Davis Library to Mead Chapel, an uphill path that all students here walk nearly every day, and also one of the most beautiful and powerful locations on campus, we wrote the message "Refugees Welcome" in 20 different languages for the whole campus to see:

 

Spanish, Traditional Chinese, and Serbian.

Spanish, Traditional Chinese, and Serbian.

French, Japanese, and Amharic.

French, Japanese, and Amharic.

Arabic (upside-down).

Arabic (upside-down).

Italian, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, and Lao.

Italian, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, and Lao.

In addition to the multilingual "Refugees Welcome" messages on the Mead Chapel walkway, we wrote other moving messages about refugeeism all over campus, many of which are quotes from London-based Somali poet Warsan Shire:

We hope our messages will inspire the Middlebury community to join us in taking action to help Syrian refugees.